Series: Rogues To Riches #4
Publication Date: 4/28/20
Number of Pages: 368
** 4.5 Starts – Rounded up **
I couldn’t put this book down from the delightfully witty and entertaining first chapter through the exciting and eventful final chapter. I absolutely adored Lady Althea who longed for acceptance by society – but she just couldn’t help being herself. The plot is intriguingly unusual, the writing is excellent and the characters are robust, likable, relatable, and fully formed. I actually got to know each of the lead characters and would have been delighted to call them friends.
Lady Althea Wentworth has an unenviable past. She was born in abject poverty to a vile, hateful man who delighted in starving and abusing her and her siblings. Then, one day, like magic, her brother, Quinn, inherited a dukedom (My One and Only Duke). Quinn had riches beyond imagining through the dukedom and his own hard work and he wanted to share that with his family – so he gave each of them their own estate and plenty of money to go with it. Even as an heiress, Althea didn’t ‘take’ during the seasons she’s had in London so she’s decided to forego this year’s season and spend it at her estate, Lynley Vale Manor. It is her plan to gain social acceptance within local Yorkshire society and perhaps find a husband among them – because she dearly wants a child to love. To further that goal, she needs to gain acceptance by the local reclusive, ill-tempered duke. Since he allows absolutely nobody on his property, she devises an ingenious plan to make him come to her.
Nathaniel Rothmere, Duke of Rothhaven, is a lonely man who is keeping grave secrets. Secrets he can share with no one. He has carefully cultivated a reputation as a reclusive, ill-tempered, inhospitable man who will quickly prosecute anyone found trespassing on his property. His description of trespassing includes hapless visitors who knock on his door. None are welcome. That reputation hides the lonely, caring, and very honorable man Nathaniel really is and he suffers for it. The loneliness is sometimes overpowering – but his secrets must be kept at all costs.
Althea’s plan to meet Nathaniel is priceless and it will highly entertain you – and it also works great! I love that Althea is never anything other than who she is – wonderfully honest and straight forward. She doesn’t hide her feelings and she is always honest with herself about who she is and what she wants.
Nathaniel is drawn to Althea from the first moment he meets her – yet he knows he cannot further their acquaintance. Sometimes though, life has other plans for you – and it certainly had a rude awakening planned for Nathaniel. When it comes down to the final choice, will Nathaniel choose Althea or his secrets? You’ll just have to read the story to find out!
In my view, the only thing that would have made it better would have been an epilogue – or for the last chapter to be a bit longer. I never like it when romances end before the wedding – a lot can happen between whatever happens at the end and the actual wedding, so I like to be sure it actually happened. I would have loved an epilogue set six or so months in the future – showing them happy and maybe expecting – especially since a child is the one thing Althea really wanted.
Now, I can hardly wait until November for Robert’s story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.